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From: Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 31 Jan 2017 10:28:13 -0500

text/plain (83 lines)

Never discount the biases with which we enter the musical environment.  If 
you are already invested in a performer, it is more than likely that you 
will hear the performance you expect rather than the performance given;  you 
are also more likely to ignore errors and mistakes or dismiss them as 
inconsequential.  (Strangely enough, those errors and mistakes made by 
different singers may be enough to ruin the entire performance, but that is 
a different tale.)

In reading through most of the posts on Opera-L, it is clear that many folks 
listen with their heart rather than there heads.  And that is fine, until 
they attack--gently or harshly--folks who don't hear the same thing. 
Psychologically, it is probably because once having declared allegiance, you 
need to defend your opinion as valid since it also validates you as a 
individual of taste and discrimination.  It is difficult to get people to 
change bias; it's been proven that many fight hardest to retain that bias 
when provided with evidence they are incorrect.  The respond to the 
imaginary 'attack' by stronger defensive positions.  Human nature.

In truth, I personally tend to discount the reviews from folks on the list 
who consistently find absolutely nothing wrong with a singer or performer. 
That's simply an impossibility--the fact is that every singer is human and 
every human has flaws, even those we would like to think of as supernatural. 
I prefer reading the reviews where there are frogs as well as princes 
because to me that is evidence of critical thinking applied.  That sort of 
balance is a wonderful antidote to the all or nothing that some bring.

But to each their own.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Les Mitnick
Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2017 9:25 AM
To: [log in to unmask]

Your point is well taken. I don't understand it either. There are some opera 
people who feel that if one doesn't appreciate an artist they hold up as 
sacred, it's a personal insult to them. There has to be a psychological 
explanation for it, but I can't waste the time looking for it. Opera is a 
passionate art form and it seems to invite passionate opinions, which kind 
of makes it fun until someone crosses the line and becomes rude and abusive. 
One important lesson: You never build an artist UP by knocking another 
artist DOWN.
We've all seen critics do that (THEY frequently differ in THEIR opinions!). 
People should listen and enjoy what they respond to. Period.

----- Original Message -----

From: [log in to unmask]
To: "Les Mitnick" <[log in to unmask]>, "OPERA-L" 
<[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2017 12:45:28 AM

I worked at the Tower classical annex in San Francisco until it expired. I 
told many of my clients: "Look. If there are 3,000 people in the audience, 
3,000 different performances are happening simultaneously. Plus the 
orchestra. And the singers. Everybody hears it differently according to 
their own perspective and experience."

I have never understood why some people get so angry when we do not worship 
the same gods they do...


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